Last post I shared some of the work I do with members of my Breakthrough U Coaching program. Specifically, sharing with them critical situations the world is facing right now, encouraging them to harness their talents to address them. I’m also sharing excerpts with you – in the hope that you too, will work toward being an everyday hero working to make the world a better place for us all. In the first post post we looked at Pandemic Winners and Losers. Now, let’s explore the issue of…
The Development of the Matrix
Governments, marketers, media, and other ethically challenged protagonists have tried to influence and manipulate human behavior in morally bereft ways for millennium. Freedom and free enterprise require us to have a “buyer beware” ethos, to expect and allow everyone to take their own risks. Nowadays however, the bad actors have weaponized social media and the Internet, and more restraint may be needed.
An overwhelming majority of people are mindlessly being jerked on puppet strings and have no idea. He’s the rancher who fears black and brown people and doesn’t know it’s because he watches the Tucker Carlson show. She’s the suburban mom who has fallen under the sway of crazy QAnon conspiracy theories. He’s the broke wannabe entrepreneur who swipes up on Instagram to buy yet another get-rich-quick e-book. She’s the corporate HR director who thinks she’s hungry again at 9 pm but doesn’t understand it’s because she’s been exposed to more than 20 fast-food commercials during her evening television viewing.
As I laid out in the Radical Rebirth book, there really is a Matrix developing. Not the Sci-Fi version from the movies, but a real Matrix created by a collection of machines used for surveillance and data-gathering. This isn’t a conspiracy theory, because there’s no conspiracy by anyone here. The Matrix we’re living in right now wasn’t a conscious invention by evil parties to enslave us. It’s an unintentional, collateral result of the mass adoption of the Internet and its related technologies. (This includes every online search you perform, what you buy, every website you visit, your social media posts, the things you ask your voice assistants, the apps running in the background on your phone, and what you stream for entertainment.) Then this data is exploited to manipulate your habits, moods, identity, beliefs, and behaviors. The objectives are to make you feel powerless, needy, and helpless – and drive you to take self-destructive actions that reward the algorithms of the Matrix.
The damaging results to humans are not debatable. They’re on display daily in society all around you. They include:
The problems we have from the Matrix will be with us long after the Covid-19 pandemic is a distant memory. It’s easily one of the top threats to society today. And unlike some of the others like climate change or nuclear annihilation, very few people are aware of it. Marketers, media, and governments are working feverishly to harness the Matrix and use it to their own ends, but that only gives the Matrix more power. This situation is damaging the world on so many different levels. We all have a role to play in making the situation. Please think about how you can contribute.
What can you do to slow the growth of the Matrix or reverse its trajectory? What can be done to educate people how these algorithms work and reduce their sway upon them? How can the powers of the Matrix be harnessed in the cause of good?
Previous post: The Chasm Between Pandemic Winners and Losers